Many viewed Omar Infante as the most likely replacement for Robinson Cano, but that possibility is off the board now that he has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the Royals. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago now wonders whether the Yankees will revisit the idea of trading for Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, as the two clubs have had previous discussions.
Barney is coming off a horrendous season in which he batted just .208/.266/.303 with seven home runs and 41 RBI over 555 plate appearances. While the 28-year-old is considered a strong defender at second base, he’s the owner of a .628 career OPS. That’s only slightly better than Brendan Ryan (.619 career OPS). Not exactly ideal.
Barney wouldn’t cost much in a trade, but the Yankees will likely find more appealing alternatives in the free agent and trade markets. Assuming they want to keep Kelly Johnson in a utility role, they could sign Mark Ellis to play second base and bring back either Mark Reynolds or Eric Chavez as another option to play third.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.